Evolution and new potentials of landscape commons: Insights from Japan and Slovenia

In Ecosystem Services
Volume (Issue): 59
Peer-reviewed Article
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Commons were traditionally associated with rural societies, but socioeconomic changes have triggered new forms of commons linked with urban areas. Despite an emerging literature on these new commons and their connection to landscape management, more knowledge is needed. This study focuses on various forms of commons and their contribution to landscape management in Japan and Slovenia. The aim is to gain insights into the specificities of such commons, explore their evolutionary aspect, and to investigate their governance challenges. Empirical analysis was based on literature, web search and in-depth interviews. The study reveals 1) a great diversity of commons related to landscapes, 2) the evolution of some traditional commons into so-called ’transforming commons’, whose main characteristics are the greater involvement of non-owners and the linking of rural–urban areas, 3) new types of commons developed with different resources, mainly in urban areas, and 4) in addition to material benefits these commons also provide non-material aspects and social benefits. The analysis also shows that all commons face governance and social challenges due to ageing of participants, challenging legal procedures, and difficulties in participating in collective actions.

ˇSmid Hribar